SinusitisThe sinuses are air-filled spaces in the bones that are around the eyes and behind the nose.

Q: What is sinusitis?

A: Sinusitis is an inflammation of the lining inside the sinuses . When sinuses become blocked and fill with fluid, germs can grow and lead to sinusitis. Sinuses can be blocked by the common cold, nasal allergy, nasal polyps, or other causes.

Sinusitis can be either acute (if a cold last for more than 10 days, or fail to improve after few days), other can be chronic if symptoms like cough, nasal congestion, or rhinorrhea last for more than 90 days.

Q: What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

A: Common symptoms of sinusitis include few/or most of the following symptoms:

  • Thick yellow or green stuff that runs from the nose or down the throat.
  • Unusual bad taste or bad breath.
  • Nasal stuffiness.
  • Face pain or pressure.
  • Cough.
  • Headache.
  • Toothache.
  • Fever and chills.
  • Tiredness or fatigue.
  • Swelling around the eyes or cheeks.

SinusitisQ: Can allergies lead to sinusitis?

A: Yes. Allergic rhinitis, causes the nose to get stuffed up, leading to blockage of the sinuses.

Q: How will my sinusitis be treated?

A: There are many treatment options that can be tried for patients with sinusitis depending on the acuity, severity, and underlying cause/s.

Treating sinusitis can involve one or more of the following:

  • Antibiotics: 10-to-14 days for acute sinusitis. Longer courses maybe used for chronic sinusitis.
  • Decongestants.
  • Steroid nasal sprays.
  • A salt-water or saline nasal wash.
  • Treating underlying allergies (see section on allergic rhinitis).
  • Surgery should be considered only if treatment from your doctor does not work, or if something is blocking the sinuses that cannot be fixed with medicine.

Several irritants can trigger symptoms of sinusitis, including cigarette smoke. If you have sinusitis, it is very important that you do not allow smoking in your home or car, and avoid smoky places.